Oklahoma Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Guide - 2024

AKA: Oklahoma Speech Therapist Licensure

Speech Pathologist Programs

by Speech Pathologist Programs Staff

Updated: March 18th, 2024

Communication is a fundamental human skill, but it can be significantly limited by various factors such as physical or mental illnesses, neurological issues, drug use, deafness, or even a strong accent or stutter. To help individuals who struggle with communication, speech-language pathologists provide support to restore and enhance their abilities. In addition, these trained medical professionals evaluate speech and language skills in relation to medical, educational, psychological, and social factors, diagnose and treat speech and language disorders, and engage in scientific research on human communication.

The responsibilities of a speech-language pathologist include examining, diagnosing, and treating speech, language, communication, cognitive, swallowing, voice, and other related disorders. They also design and implement rehabilitation programs to restore communicative efficiency in individuals with communication problems of organic and non-organic origin. Moreover, Speech Pathologists keep records, monitor progress, and counsel patients and their families.

Oklahoma offers numerous opportunities for speech-language pathologists to work with patients of various ages and conditions, such as children, special needs patients, or adults with speech disorders. This is due to the favourable relationship between the state government and SLP practitioners, making Oklahoma an ideal place for SLPs to practice. However, it’s important to note that a license is mandatory for those who wish to practice as speech-language pathologists in Oklahoma.

This guide will provide you with all the information you need to obtain a license in speech-language pathology, including the required educational qualifications, application process, renewal procedure, and credentials for working in this field.

Oklahoma Speech-Language Pathologist Licensure Process

This section covers obtaining initial speech-language pathology licensure in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is the sole agency in the state that regulates healthcare services related to communicative disorders of speech and language mechanisms.

Education Requirements

The initial step to obtaining your SLP license is to enroll in a speech-language pathology master’s program from an accredited institution. You can select either an online or a traditional program, which must be acknowledged by the American Speech-Language-Pathology Association.

Numerous ASHA-accredited online programs are available through universities nationwide, which offer the advantage of the flexibility and the option to specialize in different areas. On the other hand, traditional programs provide quality education in proximity to your home. In Oklahoma, there are five accredited programs available.

To apply for a master’s program, you must have a bachelor’s degree. If your undergraduate degree is outside speech-language pathology, you must complete fundamental prerequisites before starting the graduate program. These typically involve:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Language
  • Development of Language Across the Lifespan
  • Introduction to Audiology
  • Phonetics
  • Science of Language
  • Topics Within Communication Disorders

Generally, to be accepted into a graduate program, you must have an outstanding undergraduate GPA and GRE scores within the 30th percentile range. Once you have completed the necessary prerequisites, you will commence with core courses. These core courses usually cover the following topics:

  • Advanced Audiology
  • Aphasia Treatment
  • Assistive Technology
  • Cognitive & Other Neurological Communication Disorders
  • Diagnostics in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Fluency Disorders
  • Motor Speech Disorders
  • Phonological Disorders
  • Trends & Issues in Communication Disorders
  • Voice & Resonance Disorders

You will be able to select from various elective courses that concentrate on specialized fields within speech-language pathology. These courses could include:

  • Articulation Disorders
  • Culturally Appropriate Service Delivery
  • Professional Issues in SLP
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice
  • Treating Patients with Brain Injuries

To graduate, you will be required to finish a 400-hour practicum, during which you will learn to conduct patient screening, evaluation, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning, as well as administer therapy. Throughout the practicum, a licensed SLP will supervise all of your activities.

Experience Requirements

Upon completing your studies, you will embark on a clinical fellowship, which entails a nine-month period of paid clinical employment. During this period, you may apply for a temporary license to practice and submit a CEY year plan to the Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology that outlines the activities you plan to undertake. Your clinical fellowship supervisor will guide you in completing this form and oversee all activities, including screening, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment procedures.

You can complete the nine-month program by either working 30 or more hours per week or at least 15 hours per week for 18 months on a part-time basis. During this period, there will be a minimum of 36 supervisory visits. After finishing the program, you must submit the Clinical Fellowship Report and Rating Form, which will entail you and your supervisor describing your activities and how they were supervised.

The CF rating and report form must be sent to the board. You can seek clinical fellowship opportunities online or contact your university’s SLP director for potential connections.

Testing Requirements

To obtain a license as a speech-language pathologist, you must pass the National Examination in Speech-Language Pathology, administered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The exam can be registered online through a third-party provider called Praxis. A passing score of 162 out of 200 is required to succeed. Praxis also provides a study companion, including practice questions, topic breakdowns, and other helpful test preparation materials. The exam itself is divided into three sections.

  • Foundations and Professional Practice
  • Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of Treatment
  • Screening, Assessment, Evaluation, and Diagnosis

You will be expected to respond to inquiries regarding appropriate diagnostic procedures and therapeutic approaches and create case histories and treatment plans across these three sections. To take the exam, you can visit a Praxis test center situated in:

  • Oklahoma City
  • Stillwater
  • Tulsa

After passing the national exam, you can pursue the Certification of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) certificate. This certification, provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, is not mandatory for obtaining a license in Oklahoma, but getting it can improve the credibility of your resume. To be eligible for this certification, you must provide ASHA with proof of completing a graduate program, a clinical fellowship, and passing scores on the national examination.

Background Check

The Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology has the policy to conduct background checks on all applicants. For this purpose, they may use a third-party consumer reporting agency to obtain information about you, including your character, reputation, criminal history, personal traits, education, employment, credit history, and other background checks.

It is important to note that consumer reports may solely contain medical records and information once a conditional job offer has been extended. However, you can request a copy of the agency’s investigative background report or consumer report, provided you give proper identification. Additionally, suppose you are denied employment or licensure based on information obtained in the consumer report. If that happens, you’ll receive a report copy, along with the consumer reporting agency’s name, phone number, address, and an explanation of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Process

There are two methods to request speech-language licensure in Oklahoma. The first way is to go to obespa.ok.gov, select “Online Applications,” choose your desired license type, and follow the instructions to create an account to apply online. Alternatively, you can obtain a paper application by going to obespa.ok.gov, navigating to “License Information,” selecting “Forms,” and finding the appropriate application for your license type.

In addition to the completed application, you’ll need to provide the Board with the following information and documentation:

  • Passport Photo
  • Citizenship Affidavit
  • Academic Preparation Practicum Form
  • Report of Clinical Fellowship
  • Praxis Scores
  • Letters of Agreement
  • Reference Letters from SLP (on the required form)
  • Official Transcripts
  • Background Check from Trak-1
  • Supervisors 6 hours of CEU Training

To become licensed as a Speech-Language Pathologist, you must submit your application for licensure one week before each Board meeting. You will be granted a temporary license upon receiving all necessary checklist items. The Board typically responds within a period of two to three weeks.

There is an $85.00 fee for the SLP application, and licensees can pay for their license using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or EFT payments. The payments are securely processed through a payment engine that adheres to strict policies and procedures, ensuring the transactions are safe, confidential, and secure.

Endorsement for Speech-Language Pathologists to Work in School Settings

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40% of speech-language pathologists were employed in educational settings in 2018, which include state, local, or private institutions. However, to practice as a speech-language pathologist in school settings in Oklahoma, you may need to meet additional certification or qualification standards mandated by the state education board to participate in clinical instruction and education.

In Oklahoma, speech pathologists working in schools must acquire a teacher certification. The teacher certification requirements for Oklahoma schools are as follows:

  • Graduation from an accredited higher education institution with an approved teacher education program in the sought certification area.
  • To meet the requirement, you must complete an educator preparation program endorsed by the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability (OEQA).
  • Fulfillment of all other requirements established by the Oklahoma State Board of Education.
  • Successful passage of the three mandatory competency examinations.
  • A current and unambiguous criminal history record search conducted in Oklahoma is kept on record with the Oklahoma State Board of Education.
  • A clean criminal history record search obtained from the FBI
  • Submission of the Teacher Certification application and payment of the corresponding processing fee.

Meeting the State Board of Education’s requirements and obtaining a complete out-of-state certificate may also be necessary. If the certification is incomplete, it will undergo an assessment by Teacher Certification.

You can learn more about the teacher certification application process in Oklahoma, here.